Summer Safety 2012 : Our Blog
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Summer Safety 2012

by PAC Staff on 06/05/12

Summer is a fun time for people and their pets but as the temperatures rise, so do the risks of summer hazards.  Here are a few summer dangers and the precautions you can take so you and your four-legged family members can have a happy and safe summer.

 Desert Dangers:  Rattlesnakes are active from early spring to late fall in Arizona.  If you believe that your pet has been bitten by a rattlesnake, seek veterinary care immediately!  We strongly recommend enrolling your dog in rattlesnake avoidance training; please contact us for information on trainers in the Tucson area.  Colorado River/Sonoran Desert toads also become active in the summer months and are toxic to dogs.  If your dog licks or bites a Colorado River toad, flush its mouth with water (with the dog’s nose pointed towards the ground so the water cannot flow into the lungs or be swallowed) and seek veterinary care.  Avoidance training for Colorado River toads is also available.

 Heartworm Disease:  Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease that is caused by parasitic worms that live in the heart and the vessels of the lungs.  Heartworms are spread by mosquitos and as the summer heats up and the monsoons arrive, the numbers of mosquitos increase.  Unfortunately, the numbers of heartworm positive dogs are increasing in Arizona and we have already diagnosed 4 heartworm positive dogs at Pantano Animal Clinic in the last year.  Luckily, heartworm disease is preventable!  Year-round heartworm prevention is easy, safe and inexpensive (especially compared with expensive and complicated treatment).  In addition to preventing heartworm disease, the year-round monthly heartworm preventive also treats and controls roundworms and hookworms.  Roundworms and hookworms can spread to people (causing serious diseases, especially in children) so year-round heartworm prevention protects all members of your family!

 Heat:  Never, ever leave a cat or dog alone inside a parked vehicle!  Even with the windows down, the temperature inside the car will rise to fatal levels within minutes.  Our pets are prone to heatstroke, so be sure to schedule exercise and walks in the early mornings or late evenings and be sure to have plenty of water available.  Don’t forget that hot pavement can quickly burn the pads of your dog’s paws.

 Travel Dangers:  Pets that travel with their families can easily become lost in unfamiliar surroundings.  If you are traveling this summer, be sure that your pet has an up-to-date tag (with at least two phone numbers) on its collar.  If your pet is not already microchipped, please be sure to get it microchipped!  Please contact us at Pantano Animal Clinic with any questions about microchipping your pets.  If your pet is already microchipped, be sure that all your contact information is up-to-date with the microchip company.  If you are traveling outside of Tucson, we recommend becoming familiar with the veterinary hospitals in the locale you are visiting so that you will be prepared if the need arises.

Enjoy the summer months ahead!  Please don’t hesitate to contact us for any advice on keeping your four-legged family members healthy and safe this summer.

Author: Dr. Erika Hartle, Pantano Animal Clinic

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